Assessing the returns to collaborative research: Firm-level evidence from Italy

Giuseppe Medda, Claudio Piga, Donald S. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We use firm-level data from Italian manufacturing firms to assess the relationship between various types of R&D and total factor productivity growth, including collaborative research with other firms and universities. A novel twist to our empirical analysis is that we estimate a sample selection model, which allows us to treat the decision to conduct R&D as endogenous. We find strong evidence of positive returns to collaborative research with other companies, whereas collaborative research with universities does not appear to enhance productivity. This result implies that firms may conduct R&D with universities when appropriability conditions are weak and the outcomes of such research projects do not yield direct strategic benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalEconomics of Innovation and New Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative research
  • R&d
  • Sample selection bias
  • Total factor productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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